BMW 3 Series Touring Review & Prices
The BMW 3 Series Touring is a great all-rounder offering plenty of practicality, while also being comfortable and great fun to drive
Find out more about the BMW 3 Series Touring
If you’re in the market for a practical family car your first thought will probably be to go for an SUV of some kind, but you shouldn’t dismiss humble estate cars such as the BMW 3 Series Touring.
You know what to expect with the 3 Series Touring: a spacious, practical car which is comfortable, beautifully made and great fun to drive on a twisty road. It’ll also be cheaper to run than an SUV thanks to its more modest size.
It’s a handsome car as well. Sure it doesn’t have quite the same street-cred as a BMW X3, but the angular nose, massive air intakes and real dual exhaust tips help it stand out against the Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant, especially if you go for M Sport trim.
The cabin is equally impressive. The low-slung seating position is more like a sports car than a roomy estate, and the way the dashboard wraps around you makes it feel even more special.
Everything inside also feels plush and solidly built, and you get one of the best infotainment systems in the business. It’s a huge curved display – added for the late 2022 update to the 3-Series – spanning half the dashboard, incorporating a slick touchscreen and a digital driver’s display.
So there’s plenty of tech on offer in the 3 Series Touring, and there’s plenty of space inside as well. Those up front will have loads of room to stretch out and taller passengers will be comfortable in the back. That said, the Volvo V60 offers slightly more rear legroom.
Fitting a child seat in the rear is no bother as the doors open nice and wide, and there’s acres of room in the boot for all your family clobber. It’s not quite as big as the Skoda Superb Estate, but you’ll easily get a couple of bikes in with the seats folded down.
Whatever you decide to put in the back won’t get bounced around either because the 3 Series Touring is nice and smooth over the bumps. The suspension deals with potholes really well whilst also keeping body lean through the bends to a minimum.
The BMW 3 Series Touring is all the car you’ll ever need, as long as you’re willing to pay out for some essential options
Go for the M Sport trim level and you get lowered suspension and bigger wheels for an even sportier feeling, but if you do a lot of motorway miles you’ll be better off with the regular car as it’s slightly more comfortable.
The 2.0-litre 320i petrol is the best all-round engine choice as it’s smooth and economical, although anyone doing mostly motorway miles could be better off with the fuel-sipping 2.0-litre diesel.
Those looking to have the most fun will want the six-cylinder M340i petrol for its blistering pace, but it is pretty thirsty. Company car drivers are also catered for with the 330e plug-in hybrid.
An update to the 3 Series range in late 2022 removes any manual gearbox options, with all models getting an eight-speed automatic as standard. Thankfully it’s one of the best ‘boxes around and it helps make heavy traffic far less stressful.
The 3 Series’ mid-life facelift also sees some new, slimmer headlights and an altered grille, as well as some new paint schemes and different alloy wheel designs.
There’s an abundance of driver assistance systems available to make long journeys much less tiring, but they do cost extra.
On the whole the BMW 3 Series Touring is an excellent family car. It’s practical, comfortable and good fun to drive, but you do have to be prepared to hand over a bit of extra cash for some must-have options such as adaptive cruise control and lumbar support. Do this and you’ll have one of the best estate cars around.
Keen on making a BMW 3 Series Touring your next car? Check out the latest offers available through carwow, or check out the latest used BMWs available now. And if you’re selling your current car, see how you can do that through carwow too.
The BMW 3 Series Touring has a RRP range of £42,395 to £61,580. However, with carwow you can save on average £4,679. Prices start at £38,719 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £516. The price of a used BMW 3 Series Touring on carwow starts at £17,477.
Our most popular versions of the BMW 3 Series Touring are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|320i M Sport 5dr Step Auto||£39,857||Compare offers|
The BMW 3 Series Touring is slightly more expensive than the Audi A4 Avant, but it undercuts the Mercedes C-Class Estate on price. While there are quite a few optional extras, you still get a decent amount of standard equipment.
All cars get a 14.9-inch curved infotainment system with a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, heated seats and LED headlamps. M Sport is the pick of the range though, thanks to its more aggressive styling.
The BMW 3 Series Touring is comfortable, great fun to drive and comes with a range of engines to suit all needs, but many of its advanced driver assistance features cost extra
Wafting around town in the BMW 3 Series Touring is a stress-free experience. All-round visibility is good and you can jack the seat up enough to get a good view out. It’s easy to judge in tight spaces, however you still don’t get the same raised driving position as an SUV.
The steering is nice and light in comfort mode, and the turning circle is decent as well. It’s not quite as manoeuvrable as the Volvo V60, but that’s splitting hairs really. The standard-fit parking sensors and reversing camera also take the stress out of tight car parks.
The suspension is exceptionally good at ironing out bumps in the road, making light work of speed humps and potholes. That said, M Sport cars with their bigger wheels and lowered ride height can get unsettled by particularly broken surfaces.
The automatic gearbox is smooth in stop-start traffic, making rush hour a lot more relaxing, although it can be a touch slow to respond in comfort mode when you put your foot down at a busy junction.
If you do a lot of short journeys in town, and have access to a charger at home, the 330e plug-in hybrid offers up to 37 miles of all electric range, so you can slink about in silence and save money on fuel.
On the motorway
Most 3 Series Touring owners will likely spend a lot of time on the motorway, so it's a good job that it excels here. It’s comfortable, quiet and relaxing for eating up the miles.
Wind noise is kept to a minimum with the exception of a small rustling from around the mirrors, and road noise is pretty minimal as well. Just keep in mind that it does get louder if you go for the larger wheels.
This theme continues with comfort. It’s excellent, regardless of which wheels you have fitted, but smaller wheels will yield a slightly smoother ride thanks to the taller tyres. The difference is pretty minimal though, so if styling is important to you then by all means tick the M Sport box.
If you rack up hefty mileage on the motorway, the 320d diesel is probably your best bet. It’s so refined you could be forgiven for thinking it was a petrol, and you should see over 50mpg without too much effort.
Cruise control comes as standard, however you’ll have to pay extra if you want the adaptive system which automatically keeps you a safe distance from the car in front. A shame at this price point.
On a twisty road
It’s when the going gets twisty that the BMW 3 Series Touring really sets itself apart from other estate cars. It’s properly fun to drive, especially with the optional M Sport adaptive suspension.
This allows you to firm up the dampers for a more sporty driving experience, but even without this option fitted the 3 Series handles itself really well in the bends. Body roll is kept to a minimum, and the rear-wheel-drive layout gives you a nice feeling of being pushed out a corner.
You can get the all-wheel-drive xDrive system on all models, and it comes as standard on the high-performance M340i. This car also gets a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine which, while thirsty, offers the most driving fun.
Once you've finished acting like a hooligan, the Touring settles down and goes back to being a comfortable cruiser. It absorbs the bumps well and always feels secure and safe for when you just want to be whisked home.
The BMW 3 Series Touring is as practical as you’d expect an estate car to be with a massive boot and loads of interior space, although some alternatives offer more rear legroom
Drivers big and small will have no issues getting comfortable in the front of the BMW 3 Series Touring. There’s loads of space and almost endless adjustment in the seats and steering wheel for you to find your ideal driving position.
Speaking of the seats, they’re nice and supportive, managing to hold you in place while also not being too tight. This makes long slogs up the motorway a relatively painless affair.
While you’re sitting looking at tail lights on the M25 there are plenty of places in the 3 Series Touring for drinks and snacks to keep you energised, with a big cubby under the centre armrest and decent-sized door bins which can hold a big bottle of water.
The glove box is also a reasonable size, and there’s a handy compartment in front of the gear selector with two useful cupholders and a wireless charging pad for your mobile phone (providing you have that option ticked).
Space in the back seats
The back seats in the BMW 3 Series Touring are good enough for most people's needs. A Volvo V60 may offer a touch more knee room, however there’s not much in it.
Headroom is also generous, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. Adults over six feet will have no issues getting comfortable.
It’s pretty easy to fit a child seat as well. The rear doors open nice and wide, and the generous rear space means you can even get a bulky rear-facing seat in without having to move the front seat forward.
That said, it’s even easier to fit a child seat in something like a BMW X3 thanks to its raised ride height, meaning you don’t have to bend down as far.
Those in the rear also get big door bins, an armrest with some nifty cupholders and you can even opt to give them their own climate controls. There are a couple of USB charging ports thrown in for good measure, too.
You also lose out on 90 litres of boot space if you go for the 330e plug-in hybrid model. This is thanks to the battery pack underneath the floor.
The 3 Series Touring comes with an electrically opening tailgate as standard, and you can upgrade this to have a hands-free operation as part of the Comfort Pack, allowing you to sweep your foot under the bumper to gain access.
The Comfort Pack also gets you electric folding rear seats from a button in the boot, as well as some satin anti-slip rails on the boot floor to make sliding heavy items to the front easier.
You get 1,510 litres of space with the seats folded down. That’s 135 litres more than the Mercedes C-Class Estate and 15 litres more than the Audi A4 Avant, but some way off the 1,950 litres you get in the Skoda Superb. The seats fold completely flat, meaning no annoying ledges to push heavy items over.
There’s some useful storage space under the boot floor as well, including somewhere to secure the load cover, and there are plenty of tie-down points, bag hooks and a 12-volt socket.
If you’ve just got a couple of shopping bags to chuck into the boot, you can just open the rear window portion of the tailgate. That’s also really handy if you need to grab something out but you don't have enough space to open the whole bootlid.
The 3 Series Touring has one of the most upmarket cabins in this class. It’s beautifully built and logically laid out, it’s just a shame that some desirable features cost extra
You’ll struggle to find any cheap-feeling or flimsy materials in the BMW 3 Series Touring; it has one of the best-made cabins of any premium car. The Mercedes C-Class Estate runs it close, but it doesn’t quite match the quality feel of the BMW.
Everything you touch and look at is plush and nicely padded, even the lower parts of the door bins are soft-touch. The overall design is nice as well, although a Mercedes C-Class Estate has a more interesting-looking dashboard.
At least everything is logically laid out though, and all the buttons and switches have a nice, solid feel to them, and the ambient lighting does a good job of lifting the cabin even further.
The stand-out feature in the 3 Series though is the infotainment system. As standard you get BMW’s latest iDrive system, comprising a 12.3-inch digital drivers display and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system in one curved piece of glass.
It not only looks impressive, it’s packed with features. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although only for the first three years, then you have to pay for it, which is a shame on a car at this price point and a worrying development for drivers wanting their car to work without paying extra subscriptions.
What’s also a shame is the fact you have to opt for the Technology Pack to get wireless phone charging, something which comes as standard on a lot of much less expensive cars.
You can also have a 4G connection for live traffic updates, weather forecasts and Spotify streaming, and the system is user-friendly as well. You can either use it as a touchscreen, which is easier to use when you're stationary, or there’s a scroll wheel which is better when on the move.
You can also use the “Hey BMW” voice commands which work reasonably well and respond to most regional dialects, and it’s a good job they work as well because the climate controls are buried in the screen.
The BMW 3 Series Touring is available with a wide range of engines including petrols, diesels and a plug-in hybrid.
For most people, the 320i petrol is the best all-rounder. It may not be the most economical engine on offer, although our time with the car saw an average of 34 mpg, but it’s smooth, quiet and plenty quick enough.
You can also have a 330i petrol if you’re looking for a bit more oomph, although this increase in power does knock the fuel economy down somewhat.
If you’ve developed the need for speed, the six-cylinder M340i is your best bet. It’s pretty thirsty, but it sounds great and can do 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Those who spend a lot of time hauling up and down the motorway will want the 320d diesel. It’s a punchy engine, it’s so refined you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a petrol, and it’ll return 55 mpg without too much effort.
There’s also a six-cylinder diesel with 340hp, and it can do 0-60 mph in a similar time to the M430i petrol at 4.8 seconds, and it’ll still return up to 45 mpg.
Company car drivers wanting the lowest tax rates will want the 330e plug-in hybrid. The low emissions and 37 miles of pure electric range give it a Benefit in Kind rate of 12%.
The BMW 3 Series scored five stars in the 2019 Euro NCAP crash tests, so it’ll protect you pretty well should the worst happen. There’s also plenty of standard safety kit such as a plethora of airbags, electronic stability control, lane departure warning and front collision warning.
You also get front and rear parking sensors as standard, as well as a reversing camera. You’ll have to pay extra though if you want a surround-view camera.
While all models get remote central locking as standard, you’ll have to pay extra if you want keyless entry. You can also upgrade this to a digital key, meaning you can use your phone to lock, unlock and start the car.
Overall, there are no reliability horror stories to report with the BMW 3 Series Touring, and owners have generally reported them to be solid, dependable cars.
For added peace of mind all new BMW models come with a three year unlimited-mileage warranty, so any faults beyond wear and tear items will be taken care of. Not many brands offer unlimited mileage warranties, however three years is the bare minimum. Kia, for example, offers a seven-year warranty on all their cars.
If you’re buying a used BMW 3 Series Touring, there are two recalls to be aware of. In August 2022, 319,399 cars were recalled for a potential exhaust gas recirculation cooler leak.
There was also a recall at the same for another exhaust gas recirculation system fault, affecting 280,238 cars. If you don’t have paperwork showing that both of these recall jobs have been done, simply take your car to a BMW dealer and they’ll be taken care of free of charge.
Configure your own 3 Series Touring on carwow
Save on average £4,679 off RRP
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.